I Granata held AC Milan to a decent goalless draw at the Stadio Olimpico Grande on Sunday, with the match seeing a Nigerian footballer get his first Serie A appearance of the year
Nigerian international Ola Aina has expressed his delight at playing for Torino during I Granata’s goalless draw on home soil against title-chasing AC Milan.
Aina made his 17th league appearance as Ivan Jurić’s men secured a point that helped them establish a 17-point gap with the relegation zone.
But more significantly, the encounter against Milan was Aina’s first match for Torino in 2022.
After enjoying patronage from his manager during the campaign’s first half, appearing in 16 Serie A games and one Coppa Italia tie, Aina fell out of favour with Juric since leaving Torino for the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon with Nigeria.
The full-back was one of Nigeria’s better performers in a tournament that ultimately ended in disappointment.
But Aina lost the backing of coach Juric on his return to Torino, with the manager suggesting the Nigerian defender lacked match fitness and trained poorly.
But the Chelsea academy product appeared unfazed by the manager’s snub, refusing to complain but rather getting back to work.
And on Sunday, he got back onside with Juric as the Italian tactician introduced the former Fulham loanee against AC Milan for the last 26 minutes.
The moment did not slip by unnoticed for Aina as the 25-year-old took to his Instagram account to celebrate the small win while charging himself not to stop putting in the effort.
“First few minutes in ‘22. Keep working,” the Torino number 34 wrote.
Aina could get to start his first Serie A match this year when Torino face Lazio for their matchday 33 clash this weekend.